For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. - Romans 8:18
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; -- 2 Corinthians 4:16,17
One of the things I love about bodybuilding is that it is a fairly precise microcosm of life itself. It is very difficult and, if done properly, yields glorious results. There are many times that one is tempted to give up, but Judgment Day (Contest Day!) looms ever closer, and we dare not stop to rest. Life is like that, of course, but on such a long time scale that it seems impossible for me to really get it into my head.
I think my parents first introduced me to the concept of "life is short; eternity is long" at about age 4. Still, Death and Judgment seem very far off. However, July 18 seems very close (about 7 weeks). That is when, God willing, I will step onto the stage at the Redford Theatre and be judged by certified judges of the National Physique Committee. There will be no place to hide. If I have cheated on my diet, or skipped cardio sessions, it will be apparent to the judges and to the audience. My bodily glory will be less, my reward (if any) diminished.
The picture below is from before my 2008 contest, but I am coming into that same approximate condition right now. I am down to 164 pounds today, with more fat to lose in the next 7 weeks. There often have come times (usually while on the treadmill) when I just consider stopping and heading out to the nearest Dairy Queen for a Heath Bar Blizzard (1260 Calories ; 510 Calories from Fat) ... but, somehow, I don't. The potential for glory is too great. It draws me onward. Is it really all worth it?, I think. OF COURSE IT IS WORTH IT!